Elon Musk has shared an animation of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy flight on Instagram. The "draft animation" was posted a few days after a computer generated image of the rocket taking flight. The Falcon Heavy is based on the Falcon 9, and uses two Falcon 9 first stage boosters as strap on motors to provide additional lift. The launch vehicle is designed to be human rated as well, and could be used for manned missions to the Moon and Mars.
Elon Musk has commented on the wastefulness of single use rockets while presenting his plans for making humans an interplanetary species, which was converted into a scientific study published in New Science.
"A car, bicycle, horse, if they were single-use — almost no one would use them; it would be too expensive," Musk had said. Both the strap on boosters, as well as the main booster are meant to return to the Earth for future reuse. The strap on motors will detach first and land in tandem, while the main booster will detach later.
The Falcon Heavy will have a lift capacity of 63,800 kg to low Earth orbit, which would make it the operational launch vehicle with the highest capacity. The rocket will be able to generate about two thirds the thrust of the Saturn V, which was famously used in the Apollo missions. The Falcon Heavy will be one of the highest capacity launch vehicles to ever fly, exceeded only by the Soviet era N1 and Energia rockets, apart from the Saturn V.
The maiden launch is scheduled for November, and Elon Musk notes that many things can go wrong during the flight. The maiden flight of the Falcon Heavy was initially scheduled to take place in 2013 or 2014, but there were delays.
The Falcon Heavy is still not the biggest rocket planned by SpaceX, the orbital launch vehicle for the Interplanetary Transport System is expected to have a capacity of 550,000 kg to low Earth orbit, which would make it the biggest rocket ever.
Published Date: Aug 08, 2017 10:00 am | Updated Date: Aug 08, 2017 10:00 am